- About DED Dubai
- Services offered by DED Dubai
- Steps to apply for a DED licence
- DED Instant licence
- DED Dubai contact
- DED licence cost and other FAQs
The first step to starting a business in Dubai is familiarising yourself the policies and procedures set by the Department of Economic Development or DED Dubai. To help all the new business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up a business in Dubai, we’ve compiled this article detailing what the role of DED in Dubai is and the different services they offer.
ABOUT DED DUBAI
The Department of Economic Development is a government body that oversees and regulates the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai. Their purpose is to improve and accelerate the sustainable growth of Dubai’s economy through strategic plans and policies. Sami Al Qamzi is the current Director-General of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.
DED’S OBJECTIVES AND GOALS
DED Dubai’s ultimate vision is to make Dubai a pivotal hub in the global economy. This goal is being facilitated through six strategic pillars, each aimed at creating the right infrastructure, technology and regulatory framework to encourage local/foreign investors and businesses, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to conduct business in Dubai.
DED’s six strategic pillars include:
- Economic Growth
- Economic competitiveness
- Business community happiness
- Economic foresight and planning
- Advance DED
- Financial sustainability
DIVISIONS OF DED IN DUBAI
The DED is divided into four different divisions, each supporting different sectors of Dubai’s economy.
- Dubai Exports – This DED agency offers support to buyers and suppliers in the exports sector in Dubai and the UAE.
- Dubai FDI – The Dubai FDI supports foreign businesses looking to invest in Dubai’s economy.
- Dubai SME – This division of the DED was established in 2002 to support the small and medium enterprise sectors in Dubai
- Dubai Economy – This was established to ensure businesses work in coordination with local, federal, regional, and international organisations. It is also referred to as the Dubai Competitiveness Office.
SERVICES OFFERED BY DED
Apart from overseeing the progress of Dubai’s business sector, the Department of Economic Development is also responsible for offering services related to issuing, amending and managing business licenses in Dubai like the DED e-trader license.
Currently, there are 2,100 business activities for which DED Dubai can issue a trade license. These business activities fall under four distinct categories which are industrial, commercial, professional and tourism activities.
If you log on to the DED website, there are five categories of services you can access through the e-services portal. Here is a list of all the DED services you can access on the website.
DED Licence Services
- Instant Licence
- Reserve Trade Name
- Renew Trade Name
- Renew licence
- Issue Initial Approval
- Issue Branch Initial Approval
- Print licence
- Licence Activities’ Terms And Conditions
- Manage Licence Contact
- Pay Inspection Fines
- Update Mobile Number
Legal contract-related services
- Issue Legal Contract for Licence
- Approve Legal Contract
- Print Legal Contract
- Partner Licences
- Transaction Status/Payments
- Search Business Activities
- Search Licence Information
- Search Trade Names
- Search Sales and Promotions
- Commercial Permit eForm
- Fill the Registration & Licensing Application Form
HOW TO APPLY FOR A DED LICENCE IN DUBAI?
In order to apply for a DED business licence, here are a few things you will need to have finalised.
1. CHOOSING BETWEEN FREEZONE AND MAINLAND DUBAI
Before applying for a DED licence in Dubai, a business owner must identify if they want to conduct their business in ‘Mainland Dubai’ or a Freezone. These are two business sectors, each with different benefits and regulations. Our business setup guide can help you to get a better understanding of mainland vs. free zones in Dubai. A business owner will only need to register with DED Dubai if they want to set up in Mainland Dubai.
2. DEFINING THE COMPANY’S LEGAL FORM
Another important aspect is to define the company’s legal form, or the legal entity it will take on. The type of business activity, the number and nationality of owners, and the ownership options will affect the type of legal form a company can take up. As per DED’s website, there are 16 legal forms that a business can opt for.
- Sole Proprietorship
- One Person Company (LLC)
- Civil Company
- Limited Liability Company
- Private Share Holding Company
- Public Share Holding Company
- Simple Limited Partnership
- Partnership Company
- Branch of a Foreign Company
- Representative Office
- Branch of a Dubai-based Company
- Branch of a UAE-based Company
- Branch of a GCC-based Company
- Branch of a Free zone Company
- Intelaq (Home-based business for UAE Nationals)
- SME Licence
3. GETTING THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR A DED LICENCE
After making a decision on the legal form, the next step is to get all the documents ready to start the Dubai business licence process. Here is the list of documents required for the DED licence.
- Valid trade name certificate
- Valid Initial Approval Certificate
- Tenancy contract approved by Dubai Municipality and attested by RERA (Ejari)
- Memorandum of Association (Applicable for LLCs, One Person Company, Private Shareholding Company (Private Joint Stock Co), Public Shareholding Company, Simple Limited Partnership, Partnership Company and Civil Company)
- Local Service Agent Agreement (Applicable when a UAE national, represents your business with regards to licensing and compliance.)
- Approvals from Government bodies (Applicable on certain business types)
Businesses can issue the Trade Name Certificate and Initial Approval Certificate from the e-services platform on the DED website. However, the Memorandum of Association (MoA) must be drafted through a law form such as the DED Legal Affairs or Notary Public. As for the tenancy contract, it has to be registered with Ejari for attestation – here is how to register Ejari tenancy contract. The additional approvals can be issued from the relevant federal and local government offices.
Once these documents are ready, you can apply for a trade licence online.
DED INSTANT LICENSE
DED recently launched a new service called the “Instant License” service which allows business owners and entrepreneurs the option to issue a trade licence in Dubai, without having to, register a trade name, issue a legal contract or Ejari. Business owners can now directly apply for a Dubai trade licence through the online portal in less than five minutes.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply for a trade licence for an LLC in Dubai with the new Instant Licence process.
DED DUBAI CONTACT DETAILS
If you require any more information about DED Dubai, you can contact the officials through the following:
- Dubai DED phone number: +971-4-4455555
- Dubai DED email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost to get a trade license in Dubai?
The DED license cost is dependent on the type of business activity being conducted. It can range anywhere between AED 15k to AED 50k depending on the all the other additional costs. Some of the initial costs that business owners can expect when issuing a business license in Dubai include the fees for issuing the trade license certificate which starts at AED 620 and can go up to AED 2k based on the characteristics of the trade name.
Other payments that add up to the DED license cost are the attestation fees for legal documents and rents for the office space.
How do I renew my trade licence?
To renew your trade license in Dubai, log on to DED website and select the ‘Renew license’ option from the eServices portal. Here you will need to enter your license number and then press renew. You will then be given the option to pay the required fees. Once the payment is successfully processed your trade license will be renewed.
How can I print my DED license online?
You can print the DED license by logging on the DED e-services portal and selecting the “Print license” service. This is the easiest way to get a copy of your trade license in Dubai.
That concludes this guide to DED in Dubai. We hope you found this informative enough to answer your questions about starting a business in Dubai. For a more detailed explanation, DED’s guide on how to start a business in Dubai, will be helpful.
Another great way to understand the details of dealing with DED is by working with business setup companies in Dubai. They can help make the entire process of starting your own company much easier.